Niles' law banning landfills is unconstitutional, the mayor says.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
NILES -- A city councilman is hoping a roundtable discussion about landfills on Wednesday will lead to legislation that will severely restrict them.
Councilman Frank Fuda, D-1st, said Monday that lawmakers will meet at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the city hall conference room. Fuda said he is concerned about a landfill's doing business in the city, similar to those in Girard and Warren.
Total Waste Logistics operates a construction- and demolition-debris facility along Salt Springs Road in Girard, the highest point in the city. The company also has applied to open a second landfill on 19.9 acres along U.S. Route 422, along the Mahoning River behind Creekside Golf Dome.
Fuda said he's especially concerned about a landfill facility on Niles' south side, between state Route 46 and Salt Springs Road. He pointed out that a bicycle path along the railroad tracks between the two roads is scheduled to open in 2006.
Fuda's concerns mirror those of the city administration.
"We need to help each other and get our heads together," said Mayor Ralph A. Infante.
The mayor said he has asked Law Director J. Terrence Dull to review measures dealing with landfills in Warren and Girard.
"Now is the time to do it," Infante said, calling attention to the state's current moratorium on creating new landfills.
Infante explained that the city has a ban on landfills but that it's unconstitutional. He pointed out that such a measure must have "reasonable restrictions," not simply a ban.
The mayor said any landfill in the area would have a negative impact on communities.
Total Waste Logistics had applied for a license from the Girard Health Department on June 9, but the company withdrew the issue from the agenda after the application became public.
Girard Mayor James J. Melfi said the permit application was returned to Total Waste Logistics with 67 items the city thinks are insufficient; the company has not submitted another permit application.
Melfi explained that lawmakers passed a measure Aug. 10 that severely restricts where a landfill can exist in Girard. "It's just going to be another hurdle [for a company] to put a landfill here," he said.
Should Total Waste Logistics file another application, Melfi said, it will not be accepted and will be returned.
Some of the restrictions in the Girard law are that a landfill cannot be within 200 feet from a river, stream, lake or pond; must be 1,000 feet from a residence, commercial building, school or religious building; cannot contaminate a stream, river or drinking-water source; cannot be a visual, olfactory or audio nuisance; and cannot be within a 100-year flood plain.